Pre-Game Show: The 80's Mostly Sleeps At Night

Pre-Game Show: The ’80s Mostly Come Out at Night… Mostly

The ’80s called, they want their ‘Aliens’ and 8-bit classic gaming back. Ready or not, they’re making a comeback, big time.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)

Looks like I’ll have to keep waiting for that ‘Zardoz’ movie sequel game. In the meantime, we’re going to get an actual sequel to ‘Aliens’ in the form of ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’. SEGA has been trying bring ‘Aliens’ back for years, but has always fallen back to its arcade successes of the past, including a lackluster ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ in 2010. In 2009, SEGA cancelled an ‘Aliens’ RPG, a game which represented the company’s first real attempt to capitalize solely on the James Cameron film without any arcade or ‘Predator’ influence.

Noting the response and interest in a continuation of the ‘Aliens’ story, SEGA then completely placed its focus on a project with Gearbox (known lately for ‘Borderlands’, but originally for several successful ‘Half-Life’ expansions). Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has stoked interest for this game by occasionally dropping large hints about the concept and plot. Some tidbits, however, have been troubling.

We know that the game is being developed using a modified version of Unreal 3, and we know that Gearbox is no stranger to making the most out of this incredible engine. The game’s basic outline involves a Marine search and rescue for the U.S.S. Sulaco just after the events of ‘Aliens’. Having Syd Mead on hand to develop concept art should go a long way towards ensuring that ‘Colonial Marines’ will be visually true to the movie.

Pitchford has also talked about a long meeting between Gearbox’s Brian Martel and Ridley Scott, which covered a lot of Scott’s original ‘Alien’ storyboards. So it would seem that, on some level, there’s been some creative overlap between the ‘Prometheus’ movie concept and ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’. Pitchford has also said that the fates of certain ‘Aliens’ characters at the beginning of ‘Alien 3’ are considered canon, but Gearbox and SEGA have recently revealed various character skins for use in multiplayer modes. I’m sure that many people, like myself, are looking forward to ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ somewhat guardedly. The fate of this game may just decide for me if there’s anything good left in the ‘Alien’ franchise.

Retro City Rampage (XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, PS Vita, PC)

Ah, the ol’ timey 8-bit graphics style, an acquired taste, beloved by the good people of Earth and feared by everyone else. While many recent games like ‘Fez’ and ‘Cave Story’ sport some merger of 8-bit graphics and pixel art, ‘Retro City Rampage’ promises to merge gameplay systems from the ’80s, ’90s and the modern era.

The core would seem to be a take on the first two ‘Grand Theft Auto’ games, with a bird’s eye view of car appropriation, while the shooting combat follows the old 360-degree ‘Robotron’ arcade style. However, these aspects are just the beginning, as it’s quickly apparent that the game will feature ‘Smash TV’ style combat rooms, ‘Bionic Commando’ style platforming action, and even some 2.5D helicopter hijinks. The incorporation of modern shooter mechanics like a cover system is just a bonus for me. I pre-purchased the PC version some time ago, and really can’t wait until ‘Retro City Rampage’ can get free of certification and into our hands.


  1. JM

    ‘Colonial Marines’ sounds like a ‘Borderlands’ RPG as the true sequel to ‘Aliens.’

    With a plot written by the guys who wrote ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.’

    The enemies include the Facehugger, Chestburster, and Drone alien from ‘Alien,’ the Warrior and the Queen from ‘Aliens,’ the Runner from ‘Alien 3,’ and some never before seen xenomorph types.

    I wonder how much in common this will have with ‘Prometheus.’

    Maybe they let you pet the penis snake, and you have to shake the controller to get it off…?

      • As bad as the lack of subtlety was in Prometheus, I can only imagine how all the people working on the movie regarded those scenes. There must ahve been daily production meetings about the many planned penis snake scenes, and announcements like, “Ridley wants a longer cut of the penis snake idiot murder rape, with some additional shots for the Blu-ray.”

        • JM

          Ridley likes a bigger penis.

          He likes ’em whiter.

          With a bigger head.

          Wiggle it.

          A little tighter.

          It needs more lube.

          Try it with your eyes wide.

          Can you make it froth more?

          He prefers the penetration to feel more rape-y.

          Choke on it.

          Choke on it.

          Swallow it.

          That was good.

          Do you want to see what you look like on camera?

          The ‘Prometheus’ blu-ray better come with an epic gag reel.

  2. I take it that Colonial Marines is supposed to bridge the end of Aliens with the beginning of Alien 3. Perhaps it will finally explain where that mystery egg came from. đŸ™‚

    • JM

      It’s set after ‘Alien 3’.

      Colonial Marines land on LV-426 to investigate all the plot holes.

      • The trailer clearly takes place aboard the Sulaco, which was destroyed at the beginning of Alien 3. At time code :53, you can even see the bottom half of Bishop’s body still lying on the floor of the loading dock. This has to be set between Aliens and Alien 3.

        • JM

          The sulaco had a fire, but wasn’t completely destroyed.

          Since Weyland-Yutani couldn’t collect the specimen after the events of A3, they took the sulaco back to the source, LV-426.

          ‘Colonial Marines’ begins 17 weeks after ‘Alien 3.’

          They explore the Sulaco, Hadley’s Hope, the derelict, and more.

          The game script is official canon by Fox.

    • I watched that other cut of Alien 3 a few years ago, and I thought it had a more interesting plot and better pacing. I would still avoid bridging anything to it ever, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see future dog- aliens and to find half the characters carrying little sentient alien queens.

  3. JM

    Ridley Scott told the game developers that ‘Prometheus’ isn’t canon.

    That there are inconsistencies he accepted, in order for ‘Prometheus’ to be the story he wanted to film.

    So ‘Colonial Marines’ was written to be the true ending of the trilogy.

    I wonder, if James Cameron had made ‘Alien V’ in 2004, would it have turned out well?

    • Aliens to me is in part about some badass Marines being completely overwhelmed by the Alien species in manner that was influenced heavily visually and thematically by film depictions of the Vietnam war. The other part is about the Ripley character finding another gear with some unlikely help from her robot buddy.

      While Ripley went onto the prison monastery planet and then was reborn as Ripley the Alien Slayer, the continuation of the story and the conflict between the Marines and the Aliens is what we’ve been waiting for since the 1980’s.

      • JM

        So for ‘Alien V’ do you want an Afghanistan theme?

        Set on a new colony?

        SEAL Team 6 has to kill the terrorist who intends to ship aliens to earth?